film

Murder! | 1930 | Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring

Alfred Hitchcock uses sound imaginatively in one of his earliest talkies, making the most of Marshall’s mellifluous voice. Marshall plays an actor-playwright on a jury who undertakes an investigation on his own when he believes the girl on trial to be innocent of murder. At one point we hear Marshall’s thoughts as he looks in the mirror while Wagner’s Liebestod plays in the background.

However, the denouement of the intriguing plot is pretty distasteful by today’s standards. Percy, a transvestite trapeze artist, is obviously gay, but he murders before it is revealed that he is a half-caste.

production details
UK | 104 minutes | 1930

Art Direction: John Mead
Director Of Photography: Jack E. Cox
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Assistant Director: Frank Mills
Editor: Rene Marrison
Supervising Film Editor: Emile De Ruelle
Producer: John Maxwell
Original Music Composer: John Reynders
Music Director: John Reynders
Sound Recordist: Cecil Thornton
Novel: Clemence Dane, Helen Simpson
Adaptation: Alfred Hitchcock, Walter C. Mycroft
Scenario Writer: Alma Reville

cast
Herbert Marshall as Sir John Menier
Norah Baring as Diana Baring
Phyllis Konstam as Doucie Markham
Edward Chapman as Ted Markham
Miles Mander as Gordon Druce
Esme Percy as Handel Fane
Donald Calthrop as Ion Stewart
Esme V. Chaplin as Prosecuting Counsel
Amy Brandon Thomas as Defending Counsel
Joynson Powell as Judge
S.J. Warmington as Bennett
Marie Wright as Miss Mitcham
Hannah Jones as Mrs. Didsome
Una O’Connor as Mrs. Grogram
R.E. Jeffrey as Foreman of the Jury
Alfred Hitchcock as Man on Street (uncredited)
Gus McNaughton as Tom Trewitt (uncredited)
Alan Stainer as Jury Member
Kenneth Kove as Jury Member
Guy Pelham Boulton as Jury Member
Violet Farebrother as Jury Member
Clare Greet as Jury Member
Drusilla Wills as Jury Member
Robert Easton as Jury Member
William Fazan as Jury Member
George Smythson as Jury Member
Ross Jefferson as Jury Member
Picton Roxborough as Jury Member

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